ST. PETERSBURG, June 24. /TASS/. The Russian Navy acted professionally and safely in the recent incident with a UK warship in Crimean waters, Navy Commander-in-Chief Admiral Nikolai Yevmenov said on Thursday.
"Our Fleet acted, above all, professionally and safely to prevent this provocation, this insanity of the UK warship’s command from developing further," the admiral stressed.
The Russian naval aviation also successfully coped with its task, he added. "Naturally, aviation was on high alert as soon as it received an order and accomplished its task. The warship moved away," he said.
The incident with the UK guided missile destroyer Defender that had trespassed the Russian territorial waters off Crimea is a gross provocation, the Navy chief said.
"We always hope that our partners have common sense and are highly professional people. But in this case, this is a clear and deliberate provocation. A coast guard ship got in contact with them to inform the crew that they were close to the state border," Yevmenov said.
Russia’s Defense Ministry reported on June 23 that the UK Navy’s guided missile destroyer Defender had trespassed the Russian territorial waters near Cape Fiolent off Crimea. The Russian naval forces and border guards fired warning shots in the UK warship’s path to chase it out of Russia’s territorial waters. The Defense Ministry of Russia slammed the UK warship crew’s actions as a blatant violation of the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea.
The British side claims that the destroyer was conducting "an innocent passage through Ukrainian territorial waters." In the UK’s version, the Russian forces did not fire at the warship as they were holding "gunnery exercises.".